updated 09:05 am EST, Mon January 10, 2011
Slight delay on carrier's initiative
Apple has followed suit with AT&T and dropped the price of the iPhone 3GS from $99 to $49. AT&T made the change last Friday, but despite promising Apple's participation, the latter did not immediately make the switchover. In either case, the $49 option is only available with a two-year AT&T contract.
The price cut now appears deliberately timed to precede the announcement of a Verizon iPhone. Verizon has an unusual press event scheduled for January 11th, and multiple news sources in recent days have pointed to an imminent reveal. It's believed that Apple may even be terminating restocking fees as of the 11th, which could soften the blow for people who just recently bought an AT&T iPhone but would've rather chosen Verizon.